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Broke City, the final book in Wendy McGrath's Santa Rosa trilogy, follows young Christine as she edges into self-awareness in the now-vanished Edmonton neighbourhood of Santa Rosa.
Budding with creativity that her working-class parents do not understand, Christine questions her parents' fraught relationship, with alcoholism and implicit violence bubbling just under the surface of their marriage. Her insight turns beyond her family to her neighbourhood, nicknamed Packingtown, a community built on meat-packing plants and abattoirs, on death.
Written with tight lyricism, Broke City is a brimming working-class gothic novel that reveals Christine's deepening knowledge of the adult world around her and of her own complicated place in that world.